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masahiro tanakaAccording to a report from the Japan Times, Major League Baseball and the players association for the Nippon Professional Baseball league have agreed to a new posting system, which will allow top Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to be posted in short order, should his team wish to do so. It appears that there are still formal approvals required over the next week or so (MLB and the NPB players association have agreed, but it needs a stamp from a particular NPB committee early next week), but it’s unclear if we’ll have to wait another week for the Tanaka process to begin. It does not sound like, however, that there will be any holdups in this new two-year agreement taking effect soon.

Under the new system, MLB teams would still submit blind bids for the rights to negotiate with Tanaka, and the winner would still be the team that submitted the highest bid.

The primary change to the system is that the actual posting price paid to sign the player would be the average between the top two bids. For example, if the top two blind bids for Tanaka were $100 million and $90 million, the team bidding $100 million would win the rights to negotiate with Tanaka, but the posting price would be just $95 million.

In the past, teams have been given a certain period of time to come up with their bid – two weeks, a month, etc. Once Tanaka is officially posted, we’ll learn when bids are due, and then we will likely know when the winner will be determined. It could all happen relatively quickly, and I’m certain MLB teams hope it will, given that it impacts the rest of their offseason plans.

Under this system, I am suspicious of the Cubs’ ability to be the top bidder for Tanaka, despite their public statements of interest in him.

UPDATE: Something lost in translation? While the report out of Japan made it seem as though this system being done was a fait accompli, Ken Rosenthal reports this just now:

So, what’s the deal? Maybe there’s a concern that, although the Japanese players have accepted this system, the team owners won’t? I don’t see why they wouldn’t, since this “top bid wins, average of top two bids is what’s paid” system is definitely not going to artificially depress posting prices. I’m now immediately suspicious, as I should have been before, of why MLB’s owners would be on board with that reported system, since it does nothing to keep costs down.

I guess the sides will continue to negotiate, assuming the report out of Japan was flat-out inaccurate.

  • Brian Peters

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…Cubs won’t land him. Next story, please. :)

    • jay

      I could think of far better ways to spend $95 million bucks……say, on an actual CONTRACT for a proven MLB player maybe?

    • MightyBear

      I agree

  • mdavis

    shouldnt this give the cubs the freedom to post maybe a little higher than what they were originally planning, knowing that they won’t be paying as much?

    …granted I am trying to talk myself into being optimistic, which is dumb.

    • ETS

      That’s why these types of auctions usually result in MORE being paid overall. Everyone thinks well I should bid a little higher than I expect the item to be worth.

      • bbmoney

        Yeah I’d think this would actually raise posting fees (i mean they’re headed up anyway so it’d be tough to figure out why exactly the bids are getting larger, but I wouldn’t expect this to lower fees at all).

      • josh ruiter

        However looking at Darvish when you had to have the TOP bid, second place was 20million behind Texas. I think what it does is free a team to bid what they see fit, knowing that they won’t be at a loss compared to other bids. Some bids could go up but not much. What it will do is help drive up those players contracts as well.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It might have been further behind than that: supposedly the Cubs had the 2nd highest bid at nearly $30M behind the Rangers. The Rangers probably bid more than the #2 & #3 bids combined!

          So, the Rangers might have wound up paying $20M or so less to acquire Darvish’s rights: assuming, of course, that the new system didn’t encourage bigger competitive bids (and that the Rangers would not have felt compelled to bid yet more just to be safe[r]).

  • Chris S

    “Under this system, I am suspicious of the Cubs’ ability to be the top bidder for Tanaka”

    Could you elaborate?

    • BT

      they aren’t going to outbid the Yankees.

      • Chris S

        But I guess how was the different than before?

        • MichiganGoat

          Before there was wasn’t as much as an incentive to over bid as we have today. We are not going to overbid.

        • Kyle

          There was some talk that the new posting system might allow the player to choose between three top bidders, which some thought might give the Cubs a sliver of a chance to sneak in and maybe he just likes us or something.

    • MichiganGoat

      Its because now teams are more likely to over bid and hope that they win the bid but have a huge gap between their winning bid and the number two bid. Think about Darvish the Rangers won with a 50M+ bid but by many reports that was vastly greater than the #2 bid so if you bid 150M but the number 2 bid is only 90 mill you’d pay roughly 120M so why not over bid. However this means everyone will be over bidding hoping to win and separate themselves from the pack. If yesterday people though that 100M would be the winning bid I’d expect 120M+ will be the winning bid now and teams hope that they are 20-30M above the number two bid.

      I think this system makes the posting process even worse than just a single blind bid.

  • OCCubFan

    I’d be interested to see the game-theoretic analysis of this plan. The following points occur to me. If your bid wins, then every dollar you bid higher ends up costing you only 50 cents. If your bid comes in second, every dollar you bid higher costs you nothing, but costs your competition 50 cents. It seems to me that these are strong incentives to bid higher than you would have done under the old system.

    • MichiganGoat

      Exactly this is great for the Japanese teams… more money. If Tanaka is a success the next star to be posted will be insanely expensive.

    • JoeyCollins

      someone posted game theory on this exact plan the other day. I can’t remember where i saw it but i will look for it again. The general idea is what everyone is saying, this system will only increase posting fees and do nothing to help the MLB teams or the players.

  • mvander524

    TOR talents are rare and hard to aquire. Not only is he an ace talent he is a major league ready. He is 24 and we need to take the leap to aquire him, keep in mind no ace is cheap and this contract would give us several years of control. I understand the risk of his talent not translating but thats how you become a winner and aquire talent, by taking calculated risks.

    • hansman

      The problem isn’t as much that the Cubs don’t want him, it’s that there are two teams that have MUCH deeper pockets than the Cubs or any other team. It isn’t like the Cubs didn’t want Darvish, it’s that the Rangers either mis-read the market or wanted him so badly they trumped everyone else by A LOT.

      I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a $150M bid by a team at this point. Take the chance that they are only going to pay $25-40M less than that but ensure they win the bid.

      • MichiganGoat

        “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a $150M bid by a team at this point. Take the chance that they are only going to pay $25-40M less than that but ensure they win the bid.”

        I think this is exactly what will happen except I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a 140M bid below that one. A serious expense just to sign a player… not to even talk about what kind of contract he will demand if we was worth 150M to buy. This could end up being a 250M+ expense.

        • Isaac

          Man, not trying to start something, but I’d be stunned if this even approaches $250mil. I think $175mil is far more realistic.

        • ssckelley

          I agree, and the only involvement I can see from the Cubs is to make sure the 2nd place bid forces the Yankees to overpay.

      • cubfanbob

        Dodgers and Yankees may have deeper pockets but my thinking

        1. Both teams are on target for exceeding the luxury payroll tax and will have to pay 30% tax on their payroll. Thats $30 to $60 million in sunk costs already.

        2. Plus the Yankees want to keep Cano, another $200 to $300 million and the Dodgers want to extend Kershaw so add close to if not more than $300 Mill there as well.

        3. Do these teams really want to invest 100+ million plus Tanaka’s salary ? I sure they will be players but dont be so fast to say they will out bid the Cubs because

        Ricketts has open his wallet to allow Jed/Theo to unload millions in bad contracts ( see Silva – 12 mill or so, Zambrano-16 mil or so-, Soriano 18 mil or so. So if Rickett’s is willing to eat bad contracts to improve the team long term my gut says he will open the wallet big time to give the Cubs FO whatever they want to get Tanaka. I am sure whatever investment Ricketts takes out of their own pocket to nap Tanaka will be returned in the long term. Plus if you read between the lines you can see where a 25 year old stud free agent is exactly the type of player the Cubs would heavy over spend to get.

        • ssckelley

          The posting fees do not count against the luxury tax, which is why many of us (myself included) feel that nobody can outbid the Yankees. Because they want to “reset” the luxury tax penalties they have surplus money to spend on a player like this.

          • cubfanbob

            I am aware the posting fees dont apply to the luxury tax just saying dont just assume that’s the only factor here.

  • conysdad

    Honestly, we should be suspicious of the Cubs ability to sign him regardless. I believe in the current process and there’s nothing wrong with missing on Tanaka. It’s just annoying that they’re pretending to be a player in this sweepstakes and not being transparent on the financial situation of the team.

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      The problem with “transparency” to the fan base is that you’re showing your hand to every other team and every player’s agent. Not a good choice when entering into negotiations.

      • conysdad

        They have no money with which to negotiate anyway.

  • Dave

    Bid something insane, like $250,000,000. If the Cubs win, great, it isn’t my money they’re spending on him. If the Cubs lose then they drove up the price for whichever team went beyond what they did.

    • J.L.

      Here’s why we fans shouldn’t just root for our team to spend like crazy on a certain free agent just because “it’s not our money”: the team has a budget, and each player’s sallary will take some portion of that budget. If they spend too much on one player, there won’t be much to spare on the others. Which diminishes the chances of our team being good. Which goes against our interests as fans.

      • J.L.

        That was supposed to be “salary”.

  • Matt

    The new posting systems seems to heavily favor large market/large payroll teams. I feel like they’re essentially getting rewarded by posting amounts that seem outlandish by not actually having to pay whatever that amount is if they win.

    It doesn’t seem like a responsible GM would bother with posting higher than they normally would to artificially drive up the posting price for another bidder either, as they may get stuck with a player they wouldn’t want.

    Note: I’m just talking in general, and not about this one specific player, understanding that specific players will completely change the dynamic of each posting process. Still, I’m feeling like; if you post $100 million for a player, then you should have to ante up and pay what you said you were willing to pay in the first place. Just thoughts.

    • CubFan Paul

      The new posting systems seems to heavily favor large market/large payroll teams””

      False.

      Small market teams have billionaire owners too.

      The posting fee does not come out of “payroll”. For most teams it will come from outside the budget

      • Kyle

        There’s no such thing as “outside the budget.” And there might be one or two MLB teams that have billionaire owners willing to put in a hundred million dollars of their own money in one shot, but certainly no more than that.

        • CubFan Paul

          “there might be one or two MLB teams that have billionaire owners willing to put in a hundred million dollars of their own money”

          = “outside the budget”

      • Matt

        “False.”

        Ok, Dwight.

        Regardless of how much each MLB owner is worth, we all know that there are teams that spend and generate a much greater amount of revenue than others. I don’t really see the point in arguing about that.

        • CubFan Paul

          “Ok, Dwight”

          It’s Paul.

          “I don’t really see the point in arguing about that”

          I wasn’t arguing anything, just correcting you.

          • Matt

            Missed reference, obviously… but seeing as how you were “correcting,” me, the Dwight reference is even more valid.

  • Isaac

    This is the only high-priced move that even remotely makes sense to me. There isn’t another starter close to age-relevant to our situation. We absolutely should not be signing any tendered players, as the second round draft pick is infinitely valuable to us. Two of our last three second round picks are top 10 Cubs prospects, and I expect Rob to get there some day. Make this move, Trade Shark for young arms and move forward.

    • Kyle

      Obligatory “second round picks are mostly meaningless” comment for the day.

      • Isaac

        Still, it’s less about the pick, and more about poor value/age correlation for our situation…that being said, Pierce Johnson is a valuable commodity right now.. These picks are viewed way too flippantly. Baseball will move more towards football in heavily valuing picks the more and more these salaries escalate.. Pete Rose made 21 million in his career in today’s dollars….think about that; it means salaries have escalated roughly 10x faster than inflation.

        • Kyle

          Pierce Johnson wasn’t a second-round pick.

          Baseball isn’t football. Fans who equate the MLB draft to the NFL draft go wrong, because they don’t really understand how top-heavy the MLB draft is. The history of second-round picks is that around 10% of them become meaningful MLB players.

          If you’re worried about our value/age correlation, sign the MLB player and flip him for prospects later. You’ll get better than the 2nd-round pick is likely to be.

          • Isaac

            No need to argue semantics. He was our second pick and 43rd overall. He was the equivalent of a second round pick.

            It’s not just about the %, it’s about piling up as many of those 10% chances as you can, especially for a very young system/MLB club. My point is baseball will move towards football, with picks greatly increasing in value. Keep them.

            That’s a wildly broad statement that doesn’t reflect reality. Can we flip Edwin? No. Could we flip Sori for years? No. Will teams be able to flip most of the tendered FA’s? No. These contracts are albatrosses that handcuff organizations.

            Tanaka MIGHT be an exception. No pick compensation, 25…take a shot.

            • Kyle

              No, he wasn’t. It’s not semantics, it’s accuracy.

              But yeah, Pierce Johnson is basically meaningless too on the scale of quality MLB players as well. You could flip any of the Qualifying Offer players with a small amount of salary-eating and get 4 Pierce Johnsons a year later.

              We *absolutely* could flip Edwin Jackson. His front-loaded deal paid him $19m last year, so he’s now got 3 years and $33m left. That’s an insane bargain in the current market. We could get three or four Pierce Johnsons for him without eating a penny.

              MLB non-first-round picks will never, ever resemble NFL picks in value. In the NFL, your second round pick *needs* to be an above-average starter and possibly a star almost every time. In MLB, you might get a decent starter out of the second round once a decade on average.

              • Isaac

                Whoa, so you’re saying we could get 3-4 top 6-8 prospects from a top-5 system for Edwin Jackson right now? I find that utterly preposterous. We would do it without thinking. I don’t think any self-respecting system gives us even one top 10 guy right now.

                • Kyle

                  Baseball America notwithstanding, I don’t think Pierce Johnson is a No. 6 in most top-5 systems.

                  But yeah, if we wanted to settle for back-of-the-top-10 types, we’d get a handful.

                • Eric

                  I don’t think you realize what you’re saying. Yes we have a good system right now, but we’re ranked almost entirely on the backs of our positional players. In a system like say, the Pirates, Pierce Johnson wouldn’t even break the top 20.

                  • Kyle

                    Well, now, I wouldn’t go that far. There’s not much meaningful difference between, say, No. 8 and No. 15 in most systems. Johnson’s probably in that tier for just about everybody.

                  • Isaac

                    Value Pierce however you’d like, I’d happily trade Edwin and his entire contract for 1-2 of him, and would laugh heartily at getting 4 of him.

          • MichiganGoat

            Agreed the loss of a 2nd round pick is not the determinant from signing a qualifying offer player, its the money and years of control that is the hold up and that is the issue that is worth discussing.. which we have been for over three years.

            • Kyle

              And that’s cool with me and a totally different story. If you don’t want to go 7/$140 on Jacoby Ellsbury, I get that.

              If you wouldn’t mind going 7/$140 on Ellsbury but are worried about giving up the No. 41 overall (give or take a spot TBD) pick, then you probably just don’t really understand the MLB draft.

              • Isaac

                Clearly I agree that the money is the first factor.

                Point is, where we are, committing to today’s FA’s makes no sense. Any semblance of sacrificing future prospects is a hard sell.

                It’s not a reflection of not “getting” the draft, it’s an understanding of how wildly ineffectual signing huge contracts is.

                • SH

                  Any FA signing that has draft pick compensation attached to it will, with near certainty, provide you more WAR in one season than that second round pick will provide you in their career. “Ineffectual,” no.

                  • Isaac

                    That’s pretty far removed from the original point: “we aren’t in a position to succeed by signing compensation-tied players.

                    It’s about value, the odds you get value for the dollars spent on these players are nil.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Even if you can name second round picks that succeeded, it does not alter the fact that a much lower proportion of 2nd round picks succeed than do 1st round picks. You have a much better chance of getting meaningful seasons from an established free agent than you do from a 2nd round pick. (That statement probably is true for 1st round picks, too!)

      • Blublud

        I’ll do you one better.

        “Second round picks are infinitely meaningless” when it comes to quality free agents.

        • Isaac

          We will agree to disagree on that…but I guess the better question is, are there any quality free agent (contracts)?

      • Eric

        Somewhat agree but Theo has had a bit of luck in the 2nd round:

        2002 – Jon Lester (Boston)
        2003 – Mickey Hall (DNP)
        2003 – Abe Alvarez (DNP)
        2004 – Dustin Pedroia (Boston)
        2005 – Jonathan Egan (DNP)
        2006 – Justin Masterson (Cleveland)
        2007 – Hunter Morris (AAA)
        2008 – Derrik Gibson (AA)
        2009 – Alex Wilson (Boston)
        2010 – Brandon Workman (Boston)
        2011 – Williams Jerez (Low A)

        This list may not be 100%. I’m at work and couldn’t give it a 2nd going-over.

        • Kyle

          He has. But that’s four Boston guys, two of whom are sub-replacement for their careers.

          So he’s drafted two meaningful players in the second round to date instead of the one you’d normally expect from that number of draft picks. Not exactly enough to draw conclusions.

          • Eric

            Oh don’t get me wrong, I think we agree here. If I had to choose between opening the bank for a Cano, I would do it in a heartbeat and not think twice about losing a 2nd round pick.

            • Isaac

              It’s just about timing and flexibility for me. We still aren’t good with a huge contract added right now. In 2-3 years, maybe.

          • hansman

            And were those two that succeeded, first round guys that slipped for non-talent related reasons?

            • Kyle

              I don’t think so. Pedroia wasn’t an overslot, he got $575k, right in line with what almost everyone around him got to sign.

              (Hilarious: You know who the one major overslot was in the back half of the second round in 2004? Grant Johnson, Cubs, $1.26m signing bonus.)

              Masterson got $510k in 2006, again it looks like it was pretty much standard slot.

        • jj

          You need to check the # of each pick- the likely return on the pick is far less at the end of the round than at the top of the round. Also, the change in compensation means a high second round pick is several picks higher than it used to be. 41 could, in some years, have been a supplemental 1st rd. None of this means you don’t sign a free agent you otherwise want just because of the second round pick.

    • mdavis

      Agreed. He fits the Cubs timeline and situation. Theo mentioned how there’s no market for 25 year old players entering their prime….well this is it. hopefully they are being coy about their financials to make a shokcing bid. but i doubt it. damnit.

  • Blackhawks1963

    There are few certainties in life. I mean other than death, taxes and Tanaka becoming a NY Yankee.

  • Required

    I’m sorry but this bid to negotiate system sucks and needs to go. Let all the teams make one offer and may the best one win.

  • ssckelley

    This does not do much of anything, it only allows the Yankees to get even more ridicules with their bid knowing they will not have to pay that much. They need to structure the posting process to where the player has a little bit of wiggle room. A fair process would be for the player to negotiate with the top 3 bids and if successful the team that wins the negotiation must pay the average of the top 3 bids as the posting fee.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Or let the player negotiate with any team that makes a bid but the team that signs him has to pay the average of the top 3.

      And/or create a posting fee cap with a posting fee luxury tax. For every $ over $50 mil (pick a number… but not every guy is Darvish or Tanaka) in a give off season teams pay a 50% tax. Teams that go over by 100% also lose the ability to engage in postings the next season.

      • ssckelley

        Yes, give some rights to the player. To me this posting process is stupid and Japan is laughing their asses off. MLB has no competition for Japanese players, they are literally bidding against themselves and to agree to this posting system is a joke. Why MLB would ever agree to a posting system where even more money goes to Japan is beyond me.

        • Kyle

          The player has to request to be posted. If he doesn’t want to go through the posting process, he is free not to request it and wait until he can be a formal free agent.

          • ssckelley

            I am confused as to why you responded to me with that. I know the player has to request to be posted, I don’t see where that changes anything in regards to my comment.

            • Kyle

              You said “give some rights to the player.” The player already has rights. Pretty similar rights to American players, to be honest.

              • ssckelley

                I implied the posting process, the player is powerless until a team wins the bid. Stuff like this is why some get frustrated with you, you take the most unimportant part of someones comment and twist it around over a technicality.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Id like to see the cubs go 100M. No draft picks. No loss of prospects. But also an actual contract that’s probably going to be undervalued. Tanaka will very likely make less per year than a normal pitcher of his valiber. Given the years of control he becomes a tremendously flippable asset.

    I’m NOT SUGGESTING the Cubs get him to flip him. But I am suggesting that if a trade possibility arises in 2 or 4 years he could gain us a haul.

    Right now the Cubs are looking to rebuild and they can ill-afford to sacrifice the future for today. That’s why Tanaka makes so much sense–he doesn’t require a future sacrifice in prospects or tied up contract dollars. If they wanted to shop Shark or anothet starter–IF–that’s going to be easier for fans to swallow in the August heat with a top of the rotation guy keeping us competitive. And if we don’t shop Shark, we have a very competitive rotation in 2014–one that has a chance to pacify a lot of fan angst.

    In many ways the Cubs have more reasons to be in on Tanaka than NY or LA. While I don’t expect the Cubs to land Tanaka, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go in big. And of they do, they might get a little lucky.

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m curious and would love to take an offical poll:
    If it takes 150M to win the rights to Tanaka and then 100M to sign him are you okay with 250M committed to one player that has never pitched in the MLB? That is Pujols money. Really am curious where everyone thinks the “too expensive” line is at, 150M 200M 300M?

    • Required

      Nope! Guy hasn’t pitched one inning of MLB baseball. How could anyone gamble that much money on someone that isn’t proven ?

    • bbmoney

      250M seems crazy. But I bet it takes close to 200m total between posting and salary to sign him. Which still seems crazy for a guy who’s never thrown a pitch in the MLB.

    • ssckelley

      For me it comes down to what my scouts are saying along with an eyeball test. If Tanaka truly has a TOR arm then my answer is yes. If you can get a 8-10 year deal for 100 million that is 25-30 million per year when you factor in the posting fee. If Price ever hits the open market I would expect him to go for a Pujols type contract.

      • hansman

        He is still viewed a step below Darvish.

        Would you give someone like Gerrit Cole or Archie Bradley a 10-year $250M contract?

        • Kyle

          Yeah, probably.

          The reason MLB collective bargaining agreements go through so many hoops to keep players from reaching free agency before their primes is because they would make today’s megadeals look like peanuts.

        • ssckelley

          Wait, you mean Tanaka is 21 years old? I thought he was a little older than that and in his prime?

          But no, I would not give Archie Bradley 10/250 million contract. But I would for a player like Darvish.

        • LWeb23

          But in the same breath, Darvish wasn’t expected to be what he is now….

    • Cubbie in NC

      What makes him worth more money to the Cubs is Tanaka is the one guy that can make a difference on the MLB club, and not have any impact on the rest of the process.

      Anyone else we talk about costs a draft pick or prospects to acquire.

      • LWeb23

        Those things mentioned above, and he would actually fit into our competitive timeline…

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Do you really think it takes 100 to sign? He’ll have a closed market of one team that inevitably pays far more than NPB. And pitchers are fragile. He risks a lot hoping for a next year for posting.

  • greenroom

    Imho. Both formats suck. If the Cubs are even considering posting and due to the reasons listed above, we lose. Then that money should easily be converted to other free agents. The posting bids are out of control and only benefit big market teams. MLB wonders why the small market teams are always at a disadvantage. Smh

    Peace-

    • ssckelley

      Actually only the Japanese team really wins in the current system. The player loses because more of the negotiation money is going to his former team and every team in MLB loses because that means you have to bid more just for the rights to negotiate with the player. Major League baseball and the Players Union should be unified against the current process, the Players Union’s job is to protect the best interest of their players and the more money that goes to the Japanese team the less money there is for all their players. If the Japanese league did not agree to their proposal then MLB should tell them to keep their players.

  • Jono

    This Tanaka issue is like when I walk to my buddy’s place on Huron, near clark. I usually stop for a second outside the Mclaren dealer, look in the windows, and think about the possibilities. Then when I realize what else I could do with that amount of money, I lose interest and move on without a second thought (assuming these stupid high bid estimates end up being accurate)

  • cub1

    I think about $150M total is the most they should spend. Yes he has talent, but it isn’t Darvish talent. I understand he is worth spending more than talent suggests because the bid doesn’t count towards the cap and you don’t lose a pick, but how much are those two things honestly worth? How much would you pay for the player if he was a normal free agent?

  • Sandberg

    If the posting fee gets into the $100+ million range, I’d rather have Choo and/or Ellsbury.

    • MichiganGoat

      I closer to agreeing with you on that but I fear the Choo & Ellsbury price might be higher than we think. If 150M-200M is what it takes to post and sign Tananka, wouldn’t that dramatically raise the price of established MLB all stars? If somebody who has never thrown a pitch in the MiLB or MLB can command 200M+ in commitment then why should Choo or Ellbury get 200M+? After this year the Pujols contract might look like a bargain.

      • Sandberg

        Yeah, those two contracts are going to be really interesting, but the Cubs really need a bat. The way things are going, contracts this year should be lower than contracts next year and they will have to take the plunge eventually. Call it dollar cost averaging on the contract level. ;)

  • Cubsfanforlife

    I think it is easy for everyone to say, Ricketts go bid 100 million dollars just to talk to a guy. Is he a proven commodity? Nope. How much is he going to sign for after you pay 100 million to chat with him? 50 to 60 mil? That is a hell of a price to pay for a guy who most think will be a #2 or #3 pitcher. Again, it’s easy because it is not our money, but I think it’s a reasonable stance by ownership to have some pause about spending what could end up being 160 million on one guy.

    I fully acknowledge I have no idea how good this guy could be, but it seems like most people are saying he is below Darvish. It would seem a comparable pitcher might be a Matt Garza, who is reportedly seeking a 5 year 75mil deal. Yes Garza is older, yes he has had injury issues, but he is also a known commodity at half the price!

    My point is not that the Cubs should run out to sign Garza, but that there might be better ways to spend 150-160 million. As Brett always says, this front office is about finding surplus value. It’s hard to see surplus value at the kind of $$$$ it is going to take to get this guy.

    • Eric

      I think $15 million AAV (if we’re doing this straight up and no front-loading) is a good price for Garza.

      I wonder if 10 and 5 rights reset if you’re traded or would it pick back up? I could google it but I’m lazy.

      • Patrick W.

        The 5 part does. You have to have 5 years with the current team you are with.

  • JoeyCollins

    Is it possible for the MLB to just put a limit on the amount a team can spend on posting fees each year? I’m sure it would come have to come as part of the CBA, or approved as a change to the current CBA, but it could easily limit these escalating prices that have essentially limited the viable teams to five at most. I’m really confused how we got to this point in the first place. How is it that the Owners and players have allowed a system that promotes millions going away form the MLB and to teams in a different league? At this point I’d be fine if the Cubs sit out on all big name Posted players these next two years while the Yankees, Dodgers, and Rangers spend insane amounts, and this system is shown to be a joke. I want nothing to do with a 100 million posting fee.

    • Kyle

      I think you should assume that if a system has evolved into what it is over this amount of time, it’s probably beneficial to all parties who are making the decision to be a part of it. There’s probably exceptions, but this isn’t one of them.

      MLB teams don’t mind paying lots of money for premium talent. Japanese teams like getting paid lots of money. Nobody’s losing here.

      • SH

        Perhaps the players, but that’s not unique to this aspect of baseball’s revenue sharing approach between capital and labor.

      • ssckelley

        The players are losing here, all of them not just the Japanese players that end up coming over. If a teams spends $100 million for the rights to negotiate with a player then that is $100 million less to spends on player contracts. The only true winner here is the Japanese team that posts the player.

      • JoeyCollins

        The problem with the system evolving over time is that this system really hasn’t been in practice all that long. The new MLB CBA has changed the landscape of acquiring players drastically over the last couple years. We are just now seeing the results of the new environment and the current posting system, and i think it’s obvious it doesn’t work. The update and rumors of no agreement seem to confirm that idea. No posting at all would be better than the current agreement or the rumored one from this morning.

  • Patrick W.

    I wonder about something: what if the fact that they won’t be doing any of the renovation work this off season frees up some money to post a larger bid? Say they were going to spend $100 million this off season that they now won’t. And say that money was going mostly to non revenue enhancing projects. And say since they are waiting a year to start they can now start with revenue enhancing projects their first year of the rennovation. Maybe, just maybe, here in this fiscal year they have more money to spend on one time expenditures than they expected.

    • Blublud

      I said this the other day. On top of the fact they cut like 40 mil from the payroll, and that the new league deal pays teams closer to 50 mil then 25, the Cubs could easily have a 100mil to spend this offseason.

      This is why I don’t by the arguement that they are broke.

      • Patrick W.

        Well, I think there’s a difference. I wouldn’t count posting fees as payroll, and I wouldn’t count renovation costs as payroll. Mostly because posting fees and renovation costs in any given season are one time expenditures while you generally make payroll commitments for multiple years, specifically if you’re going to sign guys that will cost you enough money to impact greatly any season’s payroll.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Personally, I put our chances of signing Tanaka at much lower than Josh Johnson or Ervin Santana. Imagine finding the car you’ve been looking for on eBay (mine would be a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am) and not being able to see what the bids are on it. This process rarely results in a fair deal for the purchasor. The only smart way to approach it is to estimate his current value on the market, estimate how much it would cost to actually sign him, subtract one from the other, and make your posting fee exactly what you deem his value is. If someone exceeds that, let them make the poor investment. Tanaka looks to be a stud, but he is still an unknown. Worth the risk? Maybe, maybe not. Will Josh Johnson or Ervin Santana have a better 2014 season than Tanaka? There’s a fair probability that one will and they will come far cheaper than Tanaka. Also, one point of consideration that us fans fail to see is maintaing a positive clubhouse presence. Many of us Cubs fans complain about Samardzija wanting a “pretty penny” when asking for a new contract. If we sign Tanaka combined with the previous signing of Edwin Jackson, wouldn’t YOU want a fair deal if you were Samardzija? Santana and Johnson clearly come with risk, but when on their game would be one of the better pitchers on the staff of most MLB teams. In light of that, I ask you… what are the chances of Tanaka being a Yu Darvish and not a Daisuke Matsuzaka? All points to consider.

  • Darian

    As I understand the process, you only pay the posting fee IF you successfully negotiate a contract after winning the bid. What is to stop a team from bidding an insane amount of money – 250 million say – with the sole purpose of winning the rights to negotiate but them not actually attempting to negotiate, simply to block the NYY ( or anyone else) from getting Tanaka?

    Someone with a better knowledge of the rules, please explain.

    • bbmoney

      Technically I’m not sure (under the old system at least) that there would be anything stopping it.

      However, the MLB, the NPB, the player and the player’s NPB team have a vested interest in that not happening. If it happened with a high profile player and you made it blatantly obvious you were just blocking other teams I’m sure there would be serious repercussions.

      There were rumblings Oakland didn’t negotiate in good faith with a player a few years ago after winning the posting and all parties were pretty pissed about it, and that was someone with much less hype.

      • Kyle

        We had this discussion when Darvish was posted, but I can’t recall if it turned out there was a good-faith clause or not.

  • CubChymyst

    I wonder if they are going to release the name of the team with 2nd highest bid now? It would be nice to know for certain who came in second. I’d like to know the what the value was for each team that placed a bid.

    • LWeb23

      I feel like we won’t know unless the teams themselves actually confess to it. They will probably announce the asking price the team pays. Say the actual price ends up being $100 million (for the sake of the example), we won’t know if the 1st/2nd place bids are $110 and $90, or $105 and $95.

  • ari gold

    Even if we don’t get Tanaka, there are a ton of good pitchers set to become free agents after next season. Granted a lot of them will probably sign an extension before then, but not all. And we’ll be 1 year closer to competing so I think the front office would be more willing to pony up.

  • Jon

    If Tanaka’s posting is pushed back a year, that probably helps the Cubs a bit.

    Hopefully, in 2014, with prospects coming up and maybe the renovations farther along, they will feel more motivated to compete.(Stop trying to suck dummies!)

  • AdamAE24

    This posting system sounded cukcoo for cocoa puffs. No way MLB teams are going to pay $95 million to just get the chance to try and sign someone who has never played in the MLB before. I thought the Darvish bidding was insane and he turned out to be good.

  • ETS

    “since it does nothing to keep costs down.”

    That statement is not necessarily true. Game theory on Vickrey auctions suggest this would increase cost to MLB teams.

  • Rizzomaniac

    I think the cubs should post 71 million dollars. If that isn’t enough so be it.

  • papabear

    The problem with the system is very simple – with TV deals of the top teams being in the 300mil range and ability to bring in around half a billion in revenue. They have scary money to spend – then to say that 25 teams in baseball can compete with them is silly. I listen to people talk that 100mil is out of question – problem is it is likely at least that high.

    Best thing is if he doesn’t post, Samardzja price goes up. The Cubs will be years from getting TV contracts to compete with the big boys.

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